Day 5 in Kauai: Pilohale Beach, December 16, 2003

  1. Arrived just before noon, in white hot sun. Pilohale beach stretches for miles along the western coast. This is the view looking north to the cliffs.

  2. Looking to the south, you can make out the dim outlines of the island Ni'ihau (the larger mass on the left. I don't know what the other rock is, out to the right.). Ni'ihau is privately owned and supposedly there are a couple hundred people living there whose main (or only) language is Hawaiin. The Robinson family operates it as a cattle ranch today.

  3. Bear with me. I had a wonderful afternoon at the beach, and periodically tried to capture the light and the waves. The day went from clear and sunny, to heavily overcast, to clear again, with the obvious gradations of silver and golden light.

  4. The locals drive onto the beach and set up a tent for the day. We were both there about the same time, from noon to about 5, and they passed me in their truck on the way back out the long, long red dirt road. It was hilarious - the young guys leaned out the window and made exaggerated rowing motions, encouraging me to pick it up (I was driving too slow.) I was impressed with the synchronicity and power of their rowing strokes! While laughing uproariously!

  5. The surf was actually much rougher than it looks in the pictures. Over the afternoon, a half dozen or so surfers put on a show.

  6. Um ... another of the same. The cliffs just draw you in.

  7. The clouds form to the south ...

  8. ... but it's still somewhat clear to the north.

  9. Silver light

  10. Ni'ihau engulfed in clouds.

  11. Two surfers move down the beach, to where the waves are bigger.

  12. Surfer silhouette

  13. Silver sands

  14. The view from the dirt road leading out of Polihale beach, back to the main highway.

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: December 16, 2003